It was cold yesterday so we were huddled underneath the awning next to the reptile shop to drink our coffee. At least we got the ‘desirable’ table right next to the tank of Eastern Long Neck Turtles. I love watching them swim about the tank, but they are also adept at just sitting underwater for long periods of time. I was particularly enamoured of the turtle stack in the corner of the tank.
The reptile shop next to our regular cafe has placed a large tank containing Eastern Longnecked Turtles (Chelodina longicollis) where they can be observed from outside the shop. These turtles are quite common in the waterways of eastern Australia and are one of the few native animals often kept as pets.
We sat next to this window today so I spent quite a bit of time enjoying watching the turtles paddle languidly around their tank. These turtles shells are about the size of a bread and butter plate – although they do get up to dinner plate size as they get older.
It was easy to observe the undersides of these animals with their ochre and black patterned shell. Unlike my drawing, the turtles shells are fairly oval in shape. It appeared that each animal had a different pattern on the underside of its shell.
When the turtles surface for air they ‘hang’ in the water with just their nostrils above the water’s surface. No doubt a sensible strategy to reduce the possibility of being grabbed by a bird of prey.